Month: April 2014

Portello Rosso

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Portello Rosso

http://portellorosso.com.au/home.html

Before I get into reviewing this restaurant, I have to say, this is one of the best restaurants I have been to in a while! I came here with a few friends for my birthday about a month ago. I had heard this place was actually pretty decent so I thought it would be nice to come here to celebrate my birthday dinner.

The menu was extensive and it was quite hard to choose which dishes we wanted but eventuated with a few. We first ordered a jug of the White Sangria. Personally I’ve had better Sangria’s before. This one had a strange flavour to it but it was still drinkable so that was fine. Food wise, we were actually given 2 dishes, compliments of the chef to start with. One was what seemed like a terrine of some sort on top of some crusty bread and the other was a bowl of warm olives! YUM! We ended up ordering a few dishes to share. We had the chorizos, Charcuterie Plate, Albondigas (meatballs)Salted Cod, Pork Belly and the Duck salad.

The Charcuterie plate was lovely. To be honest it was similar to other Charcuterie plates I’ve had before but I love this so I have nothing to complain about. The Chorizos were absolutely to die for! I think it is a must have when you come here! The meatballs and the Salted Cod were ok but a bit average to our liking. The Pork Belly was sooooo good!!! Even though it was just Pork Belly, the way that it was made was melting in the mouth delicious!!! The skin was so crispy and lovely! Now going from the Pork Belly to the Duck salad.. one amazing thing to the next! I wish I knew what was in this salad, if I knew I would happily eat this every day!! AMAZING!!

Even though we were super full by this time we thought we would try one of their desserts so we had the Churros. I personally think I’ve had better Churros elsewhere but I still liked it none the less.

Overall, as I mentioned earlier this is probably one of the best restaurants that I have been to in a while. Even though some of the dishes we tried weren’t amazing, I would still come back again and again for the ones that were! Totally worth it! Next time I’m trying the Paella! 🙂

Portello Rosso on Urbanspoon

The Merrywell (Upstairs)

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The Merrywell (Upstairs)

http://www.themerrywell.com.au/menus

So I finally got to try The Merrywell (Upstairs)! I had been to the restaurant area downstairs before but I only had a burger and it was average so I’m glad I got to see what upstairs had to offer.

I know The Merrywell is known for American styled types of food and personally I love American food, the only downside to it is how ‘fatty’ I think the majority of things are. When we ordered and our food came out I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t as ‘fatty’ as what I imagined it would be. We were going to watch a movie after dinner so we decided to order a few small dishes. We ended up getting, Mac and Cheese bites, Buffalo wings, Jalepeno Poppers, Kingfish ceviche and for dessert we thought we’d give the banana split a go.

The Mac and Cheese bites were delicious! I loved that even though it was deep fried, it wasn’t in a thick unsightly batter that looked like it had been swimming in oil. It was actually crushed Doritos haha.. not that that is any healthier, just looks it 🙂 The Buffalo wings were nice and juicy. It came with the usual Blue Cheese sauce that often accompanies this dish. Personally I hate the smell of blue cheese. I always imagine it to taste like it smells lol.. but in saying that I gave it a go and it actually wasn’t too bad. It had a subtle blue cheese flavour which was quite nice.

The Kingfish Ceviche was lovely and refreshing. It was nice to see a ‘healthier’ option on the menu. The dish could have been a little bit bigger but I suppose as it was a ‘small’ dish that’s all we were going to get. Last of the small dishes was the Jalepeno Poppers. I’ve had these before at other places and I suppose these were pretty much the same. The only thing that I would say that was different was the ranch sauce that came with this. I loved it that much I used it as a sauce for the majority of our other dishes haha

Finally we thought’d we’d try the Banana Split for dessert. It came out not looking like a typical banana split but that was fine. This banana split was different. It contained lovely fresh cream, bits of nuts, a chopped up Mars Bar, a chocolate macaron and some cherries. Definitely a dessert to share but I loved it. It was a nice way to end the meal.

The staff were nice and friendly throughout the night. We sat outside, sort of on the balcony area which was good on the night that we went. Wasn’t too cold. I’d definitely recommend this place. It’s perfect place to head to with a group of friends, grab a drink or two and catch up with delicious food!

The Merrywell on Urbanspoon

Granola

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Home made Granola

This is my version of a home made granola. I’ve pinched this recipe off different recipes I’ve found online. I haven’t really made granola before but I thought I’d give it a try. It’s not super crunchy as how I would imagine granola to taste but its fine for me and this recipe is super easy! Anyone can make this!

Granola Recipe

2 Cups of Rolled Oats (not quick oats)
1/2 Cup of chopped nuts (I used almonds diced into small pieces)
1/4 Cup of Sunflower/Pumpkin Seeds
1 heaped tablespoon of honey
2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 pinch of sea salt
small handful of dried fruits
small handful of desiccated coconut** (optional)

  • Preheat oven to approx 150C
  • Mix everything but the dried fruit and coconut together in a mixing bowl.
  • Once all incorporated, place a thin layer onto a baking tray and place in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.
  • In the last 5 minutes sprinkle the coconut over the granola and bake for the remaining time. Ensure the coconut does not burn.
  • Remove from the oven to cool.
  • Once cooled mix the dried fruit in.
  • Serve with some Greek Yoghurt for a tasty start to the day!

I used some craisins (dried cranberries) for the dried fruit. I tend not to put too much in because they are quite sweet. If you want to add a bit more sweetness to the recipe you can add more honey but I prefer it less sweet.

Hopefully you all enjoy this! I have put it in the dessert section of my site but I will move this when I have more breakfast recipes.

Sezar

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Sezar

http://sezar.com.au

So we discovered this restaurant when my partner read it in the paper and thought we should try it for our anniversary dinner. This restaurant is tucked away down an alley way off Russell St. The actual size of the restaurant is not very big, although I’m not sure if they had an upstairs so I could be wrong.

We were given the drinks and food menu. I ordered a Sezar Express. It was actually really really good! I could have skulled it and had another one but I stopped myself! We thought we would give a few different dishes a try. We tried the Boreg, Spanner Crab Falafel, BBQ Sher Wagyu Tenderloin, The Braised Beef Cheeks and for dessert we tried the Vanilla Parfait.

The Boreg was delicious! I love the spinach and feta filling and the mayo that came with it was lovely. The Falafel was nice and flavoursome but a tad messy to eat. The waiter said to eat it with your hands but I think I would have made a mess so I used a knife and fork. The Wagyu Tenderloin was the same with messiness.. haha or maybe I’m just a neat freak and don’t like to use my hands when I’m out. But in saying that the Wagyu was so good! It was cooked perfectly and it went well with the bread and sauce! Last main dish was the Beef Cheeks. We thought this dish would be to die for… but… When we went to try it, it was under seasoned and needed more flavour. I only ate a little bit of it and my partner ate the rest. It was a bit of a disappointing end to the main dishes.

We thought we’d give dessert a crack so we ordered the Vanilla Parfait. It came out looking beautiful on the plate! It came with cherries, pistachios and a rose water syrup. Personally, I don’t really like rose water. I think it tastes like eating flowers but in saying that, the syrup wasn’t overpowering the dish which was really good! The parfait was creamy and delicious and went well with everything on the plate.

Overall, this restaurant was lovely. I think it had a good feel to it and everyone there seemed to enjoy themselves. It was a tad loud but that’s ok. The food was lovely, bar the beef cheeks but everything else was great and we would definitely go back to try some more dishes.

Sezar on Urbanspoon

Shop House Kitchen

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Shop House Kitchen

Located in the heart of QV Melbourne, this bustling Hong Kong style cafe is home to cheap, good food. My partner and I come here every now and then so he can have his fix (he’s from Hong Kong so he loves this type of food). We’ve been here a few times and we have ordered different things on the menu before.

In the pictures I have here, we have the dry wonton noodles with 2 meats (Char siu and Roast pork) with some veggies on the side and also the Taiwanese chicken pop corn.

The noodles with the meat is quite a simple dish. Even though it is 1 serving, don’t be deceived. The mountain of noodles under the meat could probably feed two people. That’s coming from me though but usually I eat a lot and I couldn’t finish this. The reason why I ordered this was because I wanted something simple and something I know will taste good.

The Taiwanese pop corn chicken is something my partner loves to eat all the time. If you haven’t tried Taiwanese style pop corn chicken, you’re missing out! I don’t know what they put in the seasoning/batter but its really tasty!! Always a go to dish for us!

Although I don’t have a picture here, I’ve also tried the baked chicken with a cream sauce on fried rice. I actually really like it here! The chicken is cooked nicely and there is enough sauce for the  whole  dish.

I wouldn’t say this place is awesome but if you want a quick feed and you don’t mind if the staff are a bit slow, then give it a go! The food is a bit hit and miss but majority of the time I’ve been there it’s been fine 🙂

Shophouse Kitchen 大食家 on Urbanspoon

Chicken Wings

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This is my version of a quick, easy dinner idea and it’s so tasty!

I have to admit, I stole this idea off my mum. We’ve been having this chicken wing flavour since before I can remember.

All you need is chicken wings/drumettes, how ever many you want. For this example I bought half a kilo of wingettes from the local Market (South Melbourne to be precise but you can literally go anywhere!) Half a kilo ended up being about 10 wings altogether. I marinated it with the below.

1 heaped tablespoon of Hoisin Sauce
2 heaped tablespoons of Char Siu Sauce

I like to marinate it overnight or that morning if possible. If not, two hours should be fine.

At my mum’s we usually put these in the oven and bake them at about 180 degrees for about 40 minutes, turning once. My partner and I are a bit lazy with using the oven so we use the Weber BBQ outside instead. It’s so much faster! We put it on for about 15 mins turning once and with the hood down and voila! Perfect!

I like to eat these wings with some rice and also I just stir fried some pak choy with a bit of garlic and oyster sauce.

Overall, this meal doesn’t take long to make at all. If you have already marinated the chicken overnight, all you need to do is cook the rice and make the veggies. All of this can be made within 15-20 mins! Easy!

Ezard

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Ezard

Before I begin, sorry with the lack of photos for this place. The lighting in the restaurant was very dark so i couldn’t take good pictures. In saying that, my boyfriend surprised me for my birthday a month ago and took me to Ezard. I had no clue as to where we were headed.. all I knew was it was somewhere down Flinders Lane.. that helps lol

We were seated by a lovely waiter and given menus. As it was my birthday I got to choose whatever I wanted to eat. We started off with a cocktail. I got a lovely lychee flavoured one! Delicious! After looking through the menu we decided we would get the 8 course degustation menu.

Before we were greeted with the lovely presented food, we were given beautiful sour dough bread and excellent dipping salts and olive oil! The olive oil was flavoured with parmesan and rosemary (I think). It was so good! I would have almost been happy with just that! But soon enough our came our food. The portion sizes were quite small but I think they were fine for an 8 course degustation. I won’t go through all the dishes, maybe the ones that I have in the pictures.

The first picture was an oyster shooter paired with a tuna sashimi. I loved them both.. although I have one bone to pick.. This is my personal opinion but I find it strange how fancy places serve peas in their dishes.. To me peas seem like a very ‘cheap’ option. In saying that though, the peas were delicious with the sashimi so I can’t complain too much.

The next picture is of a Spanner Crab Dumpling in a Tom Kha ‘soup’. I really liked this dish. The Tom Kha complimented the dumpling very well! Even though the dumpling reminded me of a wonton, it was still scrumptious none the less.

The last picture I have up is of the dessert platter! There was a choice of having either this or a ‘Chocolate hemisphere’. You had to pay a little extra for the tasting place but boy was it worth it! There were so many desserts to choose from and try! I think my favourite of them all was either the panna cotta, the ice cream or the ‘cheesecake’. But in saying that, they were all REALLY GOOD! The flavours just jump around on your tongue and they just make you go Mmmmmm…

This restaurant had excellent service and delicious food! I’ll definitely be back again although as it is a little pricey maybe more so for an occasion.

 

Ezard on Urbanspoon